No girls allowed

The late-night men’s club


MCT Photo

Jimmy Fallon host of “The Tonight Show” talks with Stephen Colbert host of “The Late Show” at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. While talented, both male comedians have taken over shows for other male comedians (Jay Leno and David Letterman respectively). Other male comedians who have taken over for other male comedians include Trevor Noah, James Corden, and Seth Meyers.

Late-night comedy programming is considered to be at its peak by critics and audiences alike with various forms of comedy and show formats. The only diversity late-night lacks is the actual diversity of hosts.

The problem was brought into the forefront when “Vanity Fair” published an article in its October issue with a picture of every late-night host, conspicuously displaying no females and few people of color.

Entertainment journalist David Kemp wrote in “Vanity Fair”, “How gobsmackingly insane is it that no TV network has had the common sense—and that’s all we’re talking about in 2015, not courage, bravery, or even decency—to hand over the reins of an existing late-night comedy program to a female person?”

An argument regularly made by television executives against female comedy hosts is that women are not funny. This argument no longer holds water with successful comediennes such as Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, and Jessica Williams.

Senior Corinne Gause said, “Not only is the idea that women aren’t funny insulting, but it’s a lie. I know women funnier than half of the men I’ve ever met.”

It is difficult for women to find a real comedic voice on television save for some pieces on “The Daily Show”, “The Nightly Show”, and “Saturday Night Live”. Without this voice, it can be harder to connect with the largely male-centric humor.

The author of “We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy” Yael Kohen said on NPR, “So when you only have straight white men telling us what’s funny, you’re seeing it through their lens, where they don’t necessarily understand the female experience.”

Two new shows are arriving in 2016 hosted by women, one by Chelsea Handler and the other by Samantha Bee, so the late-night landscape could begin representing more than just men.